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Our Minimal, Family-Friendly Cleaning Approach to Tree House

This post is in partnership with Grove Collaborative. We’re sharing a free offer for new and existing subscribers at the end of this post!

We’ve said this in more ways than one, but Tree House has continued to surprise us in the ways it continues to stretch us. We’ve always leaned more minimal in our home decor style (or, at least, we’ve chosen to scale back as the years go by), but our little Michigan lake house has us flexing those minimalism-muscles more than ever.

Here’s an example: We were a part of a large, multi-family yard sale this past weekend at our Chicago home. Leading up to the sale, we sifted through our cabinets, closets and credenzas, and we purged. Purging is one of my very favorite things; it makes my heart sing! We found candlesticks, decor items and old serving ware. We rolled up rugs and counted up stacks of old tile. We pulled the plug on throw pillows that had been piling up, and we thinned the shelving in our garage. Truthfully, we’d been slowly setting these items aside for months, with the intention of giving them a future home in Tree House. But it took us all of 1 minute to come to the same conclusion: If we didn’t love them (anymore) now, what would make us love them (again) at Tree House? Everything went to the yard sale pile, rather than to Tree House.

We like that Tree House feels like a fresh start. We told each other from the start that our goal is to keep is pared down. Before something crosses that front threshold, we’ll ask, Is this durable? Is it family-friendly? Pet-friendly? Is it useful? Do we truly, honestly love it? (Of course this isn’t to say that we won’t make mistakes. We will, but we’re still careful to put these questions into practice.)

Most recently, we did a test run in our Chicago home using cleaning products from Grove Collaborative. Our own cleaning supply was admittedly getting out of hand, and we’ve been slowly ridding our cabinets of toxic solutions where we can. We had been reading and hearing nothing but rave reviews above Grove Co. – an eco-friendly recurring shipment service for home, beauty and personal care – and our thought was that if we truly loved it for our Chicago cleaning overhaul, we would add supplies to a future shipment for Tree House. We’ve been members of Grove Co. for several months now, replenishing our supply when needed, even adding soothing scented candles to our cart as the mood strikes!

We’ve been hesitant in the past using a subscription service (again, going back to the whole less is more mindset), but we’ve been so, so happy with the quality of the products and ease of use with Grove, that we wholeheartedly give this subscription service all the thumbs up. We’ve skipped months when refills have been unnecessary (it’s as simple as unchecking a box in your account), and we can quickly review the ingredients list on any products we’re considering for our home. Having fallen head over heels with the service, we ultimately selected a handful of products that would build up our baseline cleaning kit for Tree House, and we organized an under-sink caddy to keep everything neatly corralled:

Here’s a question: If cleaning products are more beautiful, does it make you more likely to use them? (Ha!) The all stars in both our Chicago home and Tree House are the Grove Co. cleaning concentrates. We selected the kit that includes handsome glass bottles, coordinating microfiber cloths and a trio of cleaners – all-purpose, glass, tub + tile. The concentrates are made using essential oils and are toxin-free, safe to use around the whole family – pets, too! Tip: After purchasing the kit once, the concentrates can be purchased separately.

Our sink caddy pulls out for easy reach, and we added a removable hook to the back of the cabinet door for our ‘in-use’ microfiber. We’ll just give the microfiber a good rinse after every wipe down of the counters, windows and mirrors, and we throw it in the laundry after a handful of uses.

On the other side of our sink cabinet, we’ve stashed the cutest dust pan and brush (made from bamboo and recycled plastic!), as well as a matching scrubber for the sink, floors and tub. They’re almost too sweet to hide behind closed doors, don’t you think?

For quick dish washing, we’re hooked on the FOMO dish brush + castille soap. We’re currently using mint soap (I can only describe this as yum!), and the foaming action uses less soap than traditional handheld brushes. And this glassware cleaner is a magician; it’s wild (and not surprisingly, so pretty!).

We rounded out our cleaning kit with a box of baking soda, hand soap and dishwasher packs, but we couldn’t forget about for the larger items in our home, too! We picked up this stainless steel cleaner and leather conditioner, and both work beautifully. After choosing all white appliances in our Chicago home, we had forgotten how smudge-y stainless steel could be (oof), but this cleaner has been our saving grace as the renovation dust settles.

In short, this is a subscription service that keeps our home clean and healthy for our entire family – and it looks good doing it. We love that we can customize every order (if we only need a refill of concentrates, that’s all we’ll receive), and we can skip a month or two if we’re fully stocked. Next on my list is trying their baby products!

Free Offer from Grove Collaborative:

If you’re new to Grove Collaborative, you can get started right here. With any $20 purchase, you’ll receive everything pictured above! The offer will be applied to your cart instantly, and it includes a full size method gel hand soap, method gel dish soap, method glass cleaner, Grove walnut scrubber sponges and a 60 day VIP trial. Tip: For $19.99/year, VIP members get free shipping, early access to new products and price matching.

Orders of $39 or more will also receive a Grove caddy for free (for new and existing members), and if you’re already a Grove Co. member, click here to add walnut scrubber sponges to your next order at no charge!

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We’re Kim + Scott, Chicago based content creators behind the Home + Lifestyle brand Yellow Brick Home.

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